Presidential races

O’Malley: Increase handgun ownership age to 21

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Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said Monday that he favors increasing the minimum age for handgun ownership and possession to 21 as part of a comprehensive plan to curb gun violence in the U.S.

{mosads}“Week after week, more images of horrific gun violence flash across our TV and computer screens,” his 2016 Democratic presidential campaign said in a statement.

“These tragedies aren’t isolated incidents; they are part of a full-blown — and entirely preventable — epidemic,” it added.

“We cannot afford to sit by and let this heartbreak become the norm,” O’Malley’s campaign said. “As a nation, it is time for sensible gun safety laws that save lives.”

O’Malley’s policy outline aims at cutting the number of gun violence homicides, suicides and accidents in half by 2025.

His proposed increase of the federal age requirement for handgun ownership and possession from 18 years old to 21 is one of multiple suggestions for achieving that end.

O’Malley also supports requiring background checks for every gun sale and ending unregulated Internet market transactions of firearms.

He additionally pushes for mandatory gun safety storage in owners’ homes.

O’Malley’s plan pays special attention to women who are suffering from gun-related violence nationwide.

The outline calls for dating partners convicted of domestic violence crimes to be prohibited from owning firearms, ending the so-called “boyfriend loophole” in gun laws.

It also urges a ban on guns for those under emergency restraining orders.

O’Malley’s gun policy pitch comes as he struggles for visibility in next year’s Democratic presidential primary. He currently ranks fourth out of six for the party’s 2016 coronation, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of national polls. 

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